NEW Hip Diagnosis + An Action Plan + An Irrational Fear

In my last post I wrote that my right hip was starting to feel better but that my left hip had started acting up. Well, after writing that, I woke up the next morning with BOTH hips just absolutely burning.

I didn’t have time make time to see my doctor so I popped some over the counter pain meds and went about my day. I hate taking any kind of pills. I hardly ever even take Advil when I have a headache (which drives Adam crazy because I just moan-and-groan until it’s over!).

All of this is to say that when I do voluntarily take pain pills it usually means I’m really feeling bad. The Advil dulled the pain in my hips and I felt pretty good the rest of the day.

This all leads up to last night.

I went to bed feeling good and fell asleep right away. However, I woke up in the middle of the night and both of my hips were BURNING again and I could not get comfortable.

I knew I wouldn’t be able to get an appt. with my doctor today (last minute, Saturday, etc.) so I went to the emergency clinic. In a turn of luck the doctor on duty was also a runner and I felt like he really understood everything I was saying.

He said I have bursitis in both hips.

“Typically the pain is worse at night, when lying on the affected hip, and when getting up from a chair after being seated for a while. It may also get worse with prolonged walking, stair climbing or squatting.”


The #1 risk factor for getting bursitis of the hips? Repetitive stress from running (walking, cycling, standing, etc.).

Here’s my action plan from the doctor:

  • Low mileage for a week – no hills or bridges
  • Don’t set out for a specific distance/pace just go by feel
  • Stretch the IT band and hamstrings really good
  • Do heat/cold treatment on the hips every day
  • Take anti-inflammatories

The doc. said I should be feeling back to normal in 7 to 10 days. FIngers crossed. He also recommended that I run at least one day a week on a soft surface to reduce the pounding that my hips take. “Try running on the sand!” We’ll see about that, doc 🙂

I prefer just laying on the sand afterwards :)

I prefer just laying on the sand afterwards!

Provided I get back to running seven days from now it will be about THREE WEEKS since I have done any meaningful training!!!!

When I spoke with my coach she said the important words, “I want to encourage you to not stress out about your running at all. You still have lots of time until Chicago…”

Of course that’s completely true BUT I have this irrational fear that when I take an extended period of time off from running I’ll just stop being a runner. 

This week Richard wrote about having those same kind of worrisome thoughts as well. He had to take an extended period of time off from running earlier this year but is ramping back up now.

Seeing Richard write: “The fire and spark are coming back fierce and I really have to temper it to avoid getting injured again…. it’s exciting to feel that passion and still enjoy running this much” really made me feel better. I’m sure that is what will happen for me too!

I need to shove this ridiculous irrational fear under the table because it’s just crazy! Of course I’m still going to be a runner a week from now!

Do you have any irrational fears when it comes to running?



  1. April 11, 2015 / 12:38 pm

    Oh Kristina 🙁 I know that burning sensation. I am so sadddd for you. That’s exactly what I had in my left hip – took about 3 months for me to get to feeling nothing. I finally saw an improvement when I took predisone (sp?) They had also tried a non- stop diclofenac sodium, which dulled it, but the steroid really worked much faster. I would run, rest four or five days, try again…it really does suck! You will get through it!!
    I understand the fear, I was loaded with it getting stuck in a boot. I have had some struggles coming out of it, but I am running again! I really didn’t lose as much as I feared while taking a break.
    I have the same issue as Richard, it feels so good to be running again I have a hard time taming it. lol
    Take the rest and heal up, I promise it will be okay.

    • April 11, 2015 / 1:08 pm

      Thanks Karen! The doctor said the next step I could take would be injections but I want to avoid that if possible. I hate needles and he mentioned steroid injections could be pretty painful (?!?!?). I hope that this does not drag out for three months… eek!

      What would I do without you and Richard? Thank goodness the blog world exists or I would be sitting here alone scared that I would never want to run again!

      • April 11, 2015 / 7:02 pm

        You will want to run again 🙂
        Honestly, the I had the injection and my doc numbed me that good, and it wasn’t bad.
        I hope it doesn’t drag out and heals quickly.

  2. Susan
    April 11, 2015 / 2:55 pm

    I am so sorry to hear this! I had bursitis in my left hip once but they did a cortisone injection and it took care of it. I have, however, had MANY months of not running due to injury and I want to assure you that a week off will not be detrimental to all your training. You are strong and you will come back even stronger. Believe that!! Hang in there!!

    • Susan
      April 11, 2015 / 4:47 pm

      P.S I would NOT run on the sand. It was actually running through snow that brought on my bursitis, so I would find a soft surface but I would not do something as intense as sand. Just my $0.2.

      • April 11, 2015 / 5:07 pm

        Hey Susan, hmm really interesting! I will definitely keep that in mind as I wasn’t keen to run on the sand anyway! My dr. didn’t clarify but I bet he was talking about packed/wet sand. Until you commented I hadn’t thought a lot about it, but I am now realizing that whenever I see people running on the sand it’s always down by the water on the packed sand!

        • Susan
          April 11, 2015 / 8:57 pm

          I just think the deeper sand, like that snow, will cause you to have to work harder to get thru it. Is there a high school near your place that has a dirt or soft track? I would try that as it will be much softer than the road/sidewalk but smooth and you can give your hips a bit of a break but just keep the legs moving!

          • April 12, 2015 / 5:18 pm

            I wish there a school with a track open to the public near me, but there isn’t 🙁 There’s a YMCA about 15mi. from where I am with an indoor track but that’s pretty out of my way. I will have to figure something out because! I know that I won’t want to drive to the Y and wouldn’t keep it up. Maybe I’ll add in a day of dedicated pool running since the weather is so nice and the water is warm now!

      • April 12, 2015 / 10:45 pm

        I agree with you Susan. I don’t think the sand running is a great idea 🙁

  3. April 11, 2015 / 3:58 pm

    Oh no, I’m sorry to hear you’re injured. At least the doctor indicated that it should only take a week or so to start feeling better. You’ll be back running again in no time at all and have plenty of time left to prepare for Chicago. It is better to take the time off right now and handle the injury than to try to keep pushing through and not make it to the starting line at all.

    • April 12, 2015 / 5:19 pm

      I was really happy to hear that it won’t take long at all for the injury to heal. Now that I am taking the anti-inflammatories I am feeling so much better. The only time I really feel poorly is right when I wake up, but I was able to sleep through the night last night which was a HUGE plus!

  4. April 11, 2015 / 4:29 pm

    Ugh this really sucks! I’m glad your doc is a runner and sounds hopeful. I know the feeling that after some time off you’ll lose your “runner” cred, but logically we know that’s false AND that you’ll be running again and stronger after you heal! Take care of yourself!! I hope your doctor gave you some specific stretches etc for your hips!

    • April 12, 2015 / 5:20 pm

      I’ve actually been to a PT a couple of times over the last two weeks and have some specific stretches we’ve been working on for the hamstrings, ITB and hips. I think they are helping, but at this point it’s hard to tell.

  5. April 11, 2015 / 7:25 pm

    From the description, it sounds like that’s what I had too since it hurt to lie on my side. It’s good that you know what it is and have an action plan. Seven more days probably seems like n eternity, but it’s really not. You have such an amazing and strong foundation behind you that I bet you really don’t lose as much fitness as you fear. Just use your determination to focus on keeping to your action plan so you can be as strong as possible in a week.

    • April 12, 2015 / 5:23 pm

      I hope you’re right about that! I am staying dedicated to cross training so I hope that’s helping too.

  6. April 11, 2015 / 7:28 pm

    Oh no, sorry to hear this! I hope that your resting, stretching, icing, etc. get you back on your feet again. I completely understand the sentiment about not wanting to take Advil! I am the same way with headaches and stuff 🙂

    I figured I’d toss my two cents into the ring about your hips. I would consider following up with an orthopedist or sports medicine specialist and perhaps getting in to a few PT sessions to see what you can do to prevent this from being a constant issue. They should be able to give you exercises to do at home to keep you on the right track.

    • April 12, 2015 / 5:24 pm

      If I’m not feeling better in a week I’ll definitely sched. an appointment with a sports medicine doctor.

      I’ve been to the PT a couple of times over the last 10 days and he’s helped put me on a good stretching routine. I honestly am not sure right now if the stretches are helping (since my hips burn so much when I’m not taking the anti-inflammatories) but I assume they are! I’ll definitely continue doing them even after the bursitis clears.

  7. April 11, 2015 / 8:49 pm

    Ugh I am SO sorry girl! But at least you have a diagnosis so you can start to heal and get better. Do you ever use a foam roller? It really helps me, especially in the hips!

  8. April 11, 2015 / 9:36 pm

    This seems like the type of injury that a lot of women might experience, because we typically have more oomph in our hips. Did your doctor say how common an injury it is? I’m glad to hear that you will be back at it after some rest and recovery. I completely understand your fears about running. Since being pregnant and slowing down, I keep thinking that I’m losing my ability to run, that I’ll never be as fast as I was, etc. etc. I also worry about the day when I am no longer able to run and the 6 weeks of recovery I will need after giving birth. I keep reminding myself that everything is going to be ok and I’m only as strong as my heart/mind want to be. If your heart and mind are in it, then you will be fine. 🙂

    • April 12, 2015 / 5:26 pm

      Yes, my doctor said it’s very common for distance runners, but he didn’t specify male/female.

      You are right! As long as our hearts/minds are into it we’ll get back to where we were before in no time!

  9. April 11, 2015 / 10:12 pm

    Sorry to hear about your hip. That is nice though that you should be feeling better in less than two weeks!

    Our tests as athletes aren’t just physical, they are mental too. What you have in front of you is a mental test. That’s what irrational fears are – all mental. Be strong. Pass the test. Hard workouts are all a part of our physical training, and overcoming fear by recognizing it for what it is is all a part of your mental toughness training.

    Take it easy. You’ll get there!!

    • April 12, 2015 / 5:57 pm

      You are so spot on Hanna. Thanks for pointing out that this is a mental test. I need to get over the irrational fear and once I am running again I’ll need to recognize that the first few runs might be hard but it’ll all come back to me with persistence!

  10. April 12, 2015 / 5:39 am

    That sucks :/ but hey, it’s great you got an explanation to what it was and now you know what to do to make it better 🙂
    I can totally understand the fear. I had this mole on my back removed and I’m not allowed to run before the stitches are removed (the 17th) and it freaked me out so much, it still worries me, in my head those 2 weeks without running must destroy everything and I won’t be able to run anymore and life will just suck. Of course I know that’s not true, but still..


    • April 12, 2015 / 5:55 pm

      Haha exactly! We KNOW a couple of days/weeks or even months won’t kill us, but we still have those fears!

      The 17th is almost here. I’m counting down the days for you!

  11. April 12, 2015 / 7:09 am

    Well yes that sucks. 🙁 At least he’s given you a recover window! I don’t like it when they say “We’ll wait and see how it goes…” 🙁 I know a girl who was experiencing bursitis after she ran a 2:58 marathon at Boston. She really pushed herself and she was obviously insanely fast, lol. She kept trying to run and prolonged the injury. So definitely don’t do that. 😉 Rest up Kristina!

    • April 12, 2015 / 5:54 pm

      WOW 2:58 at Boston!!! You have super speedy friends!

      My doc. said I could do some short/easy runs but I think I’ll just take a few days off. The burning pain is pretty awful and I’d rather just get rid of this bursitis as fast as possible. I don’t want to do anything to prolong it!

  12. April 12, 2015 / 8:14 am

    Augh I am sorry you have to deal with this but I am glad you have an action plan! This sounds weird but I have no clue what it would feel like to have hip pain. Like where is the pain at? Above or below your hip?

    I understand your irrational fear but you will be a runner in two weeks! Try to schedule things so that you are busy and don’t have to sit around wishing you could run. I clean my house on rest days. Except for this Friday. I was actually too exhausted to do that.

    • April 12, 2015 / 5:48 pm

      The pain is right where your hip is – not above or below it. Right on/in the hip.

      For me it feels like a really bad burning sensation. Imagine getting heart burn but in your hip. Or imagine someone lighting a candle inside of your hip. That last one might be a bit dramatic but when it burns the worst that is what it feels like. It also causes lower back soreness which is possibly somehow worse. I feel so bad now for people who experience chronic back pain. I just can’t imagine living with it all the time!

  13. April 12, 2015 / 11:23 am

    Yuck, that sounds really unpleasant, but at least you have a diagnosis now, right?

    My personal opinion would be to avoid sand. I find it to be much harder on my legs and hips than harder, more stable surfaces, and I know that when I was having ITBS problems my doctor and my physical therapist told me to avoid unstable surfaces like sand. Maybe the proscription is different for bursitis, but it might be something to keep in mind.

    I hope you feel better soon!

    • April 12, 2015 / 5:28 pm

      Hey Lizzy, thanks for the advice! Now that I’ve received that from a few people I am going to call the doc tomorrow and find out if he meant to run on packed sand or…? I wasn’t keen to run on the dry/loose sand at all anyway, so I definitely won’t be hard pressed to avoid that :).

  14. April 12, 2015 / 3:55 pm

    A couple of times after extended time off (once it was 6 months due to a stress fracture in my hip that took forever to heal!) I have been scared to run again. Not so much because of pain just scared – weird. Usually after a week or so of running it goes away and the joy of running reminds me why I keep doing it!!!
    Hopefully after the next 7 days or so you will feel much better!!

    • April 12, 2015 / 5:46 pm

      I can completely understand that! You don’t want to risk injury again so you’re nervous to jump back into training! I would definitely feel that way if I had to take six months off!

  15. April 12, 2015 / 5:01 pm

    It is good that you have an answer–I would add in piriformis stretching–that helps with that injury too. It is a positive sign that the Advil took away the pain initially. Follow the doc’s instructions (minus the sand running!), and GRADUALLY ease back in, when you are pain free. You are still a runner–that’s precisely why you don’t like taking time off!!
    Have a RELAXING time on your cruise!

    • April 12, 2015 / 5:52 pm

      Thanks Cheryl! Since three of you have commented about not running on the sand I am going to call my doctor tomorrow and ask him to clarify if he meant on packed sand or …? I may just avoid it completely as I really trust the experiences you guys have had in the past.

      I’ll definitely be gradually easing back in. I’ll probably take this whole week off from running. The doc said easy, short runs on flat surfaces would be okay but I think it just makes sense to let things rest. I’m so over all the burning and I want to get rid of it as fast as possible! Sometimes I think doctors will tell us what we want to hear, to a degree. Like last year when I had a small foot issue and my orthopedist said “well, I would tell you to take a week off, but I know you runners never listen to me, so instead do this…” I guess we’re known as a stubborn bunch?

  16. April 12, 2015 / 10:48 pm

    I hope you feel better soon. I had to take a few days off recently and I know how you’re feeling. Even when you start back (depending on how your body reacts) the initial runs might seem like a struggle but don’t give up! Your coach is right, technically you do have more than enough time to train for Chicago.

  17. April 13, 2015 / 11:12 am

    ARGH, that sounds awful! BUT, the good news is you have a diagnosis and a plan of action. And I’ve totally gone through that whole “I’m taking time off and I’m going to lose everything I’ve worked for and I don’t feel like a runner” business, too, and I can tell you from personal experience that, if anything, I ALWAYS come back stronger. Give your body the rest it needs, and I’ll bet that you’ll feel even stronger/faster than ever before! You have plenty of time for Chicago! I know how frustrating this can be, and I hope you feel better soon!

  18. April 13, 2015 / 2:35 pm

    Caught up to this post. Sorry to hear about your diagnosis and all that pain. I am glad you were able to see someone this weekend. I know Nevie from had bursitis last year, I think she had a post or two on what her PT told her in terms of recovery/exercises.